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Spain & Portugal vegetarian options

Hi, all!

My boyfriend and I are traveling to Portugal and Spain next month and I would love some suggestions for food. I don't eat meat or seafood, but he eats both- so I am trying to find places to eat that are a happy medium for both of us. We will start our trip in Lisbon and Lagos, and then travel to Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville. Any recommendations are appreciated!

Posted by
16344 posts

If you do eat eggs and dairy foods, then you'll obviously have more options open to you, such as the ubiquitous Spanish tortilla (usually potato, egg, onion, oil) and flan for dessert (often comes with a set lunch menu and you can steal from BF). But if you want to be sure that any given dish doesn't include any broth or small bits of meat, it's best to ask, since they're often used to enrich beans, rice, and other vegetables.

See also some similar threads:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/spain/vegetarian-in-spain

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/spain/food-for-a-10-year-old

Posted by
164 posts

LOL. While in MadridI got a "vegetarian" sandwich at the local bakery in the La Latina neighborhood. It was delicious. It had ham.....

Posted by
1960 posts

I’ll get slammed for saying this but here goes: you will eat but you won’t eat well. In Spain getting enough vegetables even a salad was difficult. Portugal: seafood on the coast, meat inland. Yes, there are vegetarians I am sure in both countries but you won’t have the options you have in US restaurants, and, particularly in Spain, ham seems to sneak into many dishes. Do some Internet research is my best suggestion.

Posted by
19 posts

Have to suggest Flax And Kale in Barcelona - it's fantastic.

Posted by
3104 posts

I’ll get slammed for saying this but here goes: you will eat but you won’t eat well. In Spain

I won't slam you but I'll disagree quite strongly. I've lost count of the times I've been to Spain and whilst I'm a dedicated carnivore my wife likes to give meat a rest now and then and she has never had a problem finding meat free options. Selection might be limited at tapas bars and similar places but many restaurants offer more. Being vegan could prove difficult but not vegetarian.

Posted by
13018 posts

While I will occasionally eat salmon or tuna, I don't eat any meat/seafood. I ate very well in Spain (3 trips, about 10 weeks total) and I don't remember ever eating in a vegetarian restaurant. Some dishes do not have meat but have chopped ham as a garnish, especially an Andalucian specialty, a cold tomato-based soup called salmorejo. If you ask, they will leave the meat out.

A great place in Madrid for tapas is the San Miguel Market.

Posted by
1220 posts

As Laura and Chani mentioned, I always found vegetarian options in both Portugal & Spain without eating at a Vegetarian restaurant. In Madrid I recall grilled Portobello Mushrooms stuffed with vegetables and cheese with a glass of Sangria!